In April 1992 a small group of determined activists travelled to the Angra dos Reis Power Plant on the Rio de Janeiro coast. There they placed crosses in the plant’s courtyard — a protest to remember those killed by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, thousands of miles away in Ukraine. It was on this day that the Greenpeace Brazil was born.
It is now one of the country’s largest and most powerful environmental movements. As well as taking on the nuclear and energy industries, Greenpeace campaigners, supporters and activists in Brazil have fought tirelessly to protect the Amazon and have stood shoulder to shoulder with Indigenous Peoples as their land, rights and livelihoods have been stolen away.
Although Greenpeace has had many triumphant success stories in Brazil alone, but there is currently one that none of us on this planet can afford to lose. Scientists have warned that the Amazon is fast approaching a tipping point, after which it won't be able to sustain itself. Deforestation has reached record levels — an area larger than the city of Berlin was torn down in April alone. That’s a 75% increase on April 2021. Huge amounts of carbon are being released into the atmosphere as a result, and the remaining rainforest is beginning to dry out.
As the percentage of you are aware our forests throughout the world sustain life on earth. They help the planet breathe and serve as our global air conditioning system. The Amazon itself is also home to one in ten of all known species, including 40,000 types of plants and 16,000 types of trees, along with species that are yet to be discovered.
President Bolsonara is less interested in sustaining life on Earth than opening up the Amazon to logging, mining and cattle-ranching businesses that care only about profit. Attack on those working to protect the rainforest are on the rise and the Amazon is at real risk of being lost forever. Bolsonaro’s response? He’s trying to push bills through parliament that would legalise land grabs and should make environmental assessments voluntary, not compulsory.
There is still hope, With Bolsonaro being up for re-election in October and Greenpeace supporters everywhere, especially in Brazil. Greenpeace is ready to make the future of the Amazon a key election issue.
Greenpeace is planning a scientific expedition deep into the rainforest, searching for unknown species, bearing witness to forest destruction and showing the people of this planet, just how much is at stake.
Since its earliest days, Greenpeace Brazil has played a vital role in revealing the truth about Amazon's destruction. The evidence its teams gather on the ground exposes government and corporate lies and reveals how Indigenous People and our planet are suffering.
Please go to greenpeace.org.uk/protect-the-rainforests for more information and to sign up to Greenpeace or just donate.
Please make a difference, and think of your children and grandchildren's future if not your own.
Thanks for reading